Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite artists here in Nashville. It's been great watching how different artists are able to showcase their work around the city. I especially love the new murals that have been popping up lately. Tess is an amazing painter, and I first discovered her from a video I came across on Instagram. I instantly fell in love with her work. I had so much fun documenting her and getting an up-close look at her art.
I decided to ask her a few questions to learn more about the work she creates. Here's a look at how it turned out. :)
How did you start making art? Why do you make art?
Tess: I have been painting or drawing pretty much my whole life, constantly painting on walls and curtains as a child, and have always found it therapeutic, but also it's just always been my go-to activity. I can't really think of a specific starting point, but I think high school is when I started thinking seriously about pursuing it professionally. It's always been the thing I love to do, but having teachers that really pushed me in high school and college to think about art in a more critical way was the key. I make it because it's what I love and there's no other way I want to spend my days, but on a deeper level it's a way for me to visually organize my thoughts or fears. The method of painting repeated patterns and textures and colors and combining them to create composite beings, which is what I think my paintings are, is a coping mechanism. My work is about these shared human tendencies or methods of coping with various shared inevitabilities or fears which are represented via textures and patterns I find in nature or biology books that represent different stages of life.
What inspires you?
Tess: My work is inspired by patterns and textures found in nature and biology book illustrations of cells, plants & fungi that are all combined to make new composite beings that represent various shared human experiences and tendencies.
What is your most important artist tool, and is there something you can't live without in your studio?
Tess: Aside from the obvious- good range of brushes, paints, and some really tiny brushes, which help me work on smaller details, I think having a collection of artist biographies, art books, fairytales, and illustrated biology books for inspiration is pretty crucial for me. I listen to a lot of books on tape while I paint. Right now I am listening to Leonardo da Vinci's biography, and I just find it really really helpful and motivational. It also allows me to paint somewhat distracted, which is nice when I'm feeling stuck because it becomes a little more subconscious and I'm not as prone to overthink my work. Really not trying to sound pretentious here at all, but just think it's almost impossible for me to work and constantly create without the inspiration and motivation of artists that came before me and really understanding how they thought and why they made what they made, in addition to having physical picture books to flip through which contain those textures and natural forms that I look to recreate in my work.
You can check out more of her work here www.tesserlenbornart.com
It's crazy to have had the opportunity photographed my man Derek. When I lived in Mississippi my brother introduced me to his music. The first song I fell in love with was "Hold Me Down" << Classic banger. I was a fan ever since then. This guy is a Legend! Make sure you look out for his latest project "The Trap".
Recently I had the opportunity to photograph The New Respects!! I must say, I seriously had the best of times shooting with them. Not only is there music AMAZINGGGGG, but they are genuinely good people. If you've listened to their music you'd think they've been doing this for a really long time, but they're young and their future is looking really really good. I can't wait to see where their music takes them.
If you haven't checked out their music you can listen here and buy on Itunes or listen on Spotify -- https://open.spotify.com/album/3IxnuDSoDBYKprHhVvKGKB
Working on these Images was really exciting for me. Here is a look at how everything turned out! (Also, Listening to their latest project "Here Comes Trouble" while looking at these images is guaranteed for you to catch a VIBEEEE!!!) :)
The New Respects
Here below are a collection of my favorite images I recently photographed with my good friend Fleurie! Really love the way these turned out. If you haven't already you should definitely check out her music! Her work has been in heavy rotation for me so you should get on that ASAP!!!
S/o to Gabi Dipace with Styling/makeup + wardrobe. She nailed it 🤙🏽
Recently I spent a week in my hometown, Holly Springs MS, to care for my mom as she recovers from hip replacement surgery. I had the best time with her. She's getting stronger each day.
While home I knew I wanted to pull out my camera and photograph something special. I've always wanted to take a few cool portraits of family and that's just what I did.
Below are some of my favorites I photographed of them I wanted to share! :) #ILOVEMYFAMILY
Recently I had the opportunity to photograph my cousin Karlton Jones wedding! I had fun shooting this for him and his wife Elyse and spending time with family.
Here is a collection of images I put together to give you a look at how this special day turned out!
Just a quick insight on how my shoot with Laura came together.
A few weeks ago I was sitting at my computer listening to a song called "California" by Carrousel on The Music Bed. Usually most of my personal work ideas come from a certain vibe of a song that I'm listening to that day. That song just has a really cool Cali vibe to it and it's one of my favorite songs right now. So I called up my friend Laura because she's actually from California but now lives here in Nashville. Her personality and everything about her was perfect for the kind of images I wanted to capture. This shoot was styled by Morgan Jones and she nailed it with the look I was going for!
Here are a few images for you to check out!
On January 22, 2016, Nashville experienced one of its biggest snow storms to date. Even though roads were pretty dangerous for travel, that didn't stop my brother and I from getting out and having some fun. Here below are some images I captured at Percy Priest Lake. The snow was so beautiful. It felt like we were some place out on the Arctic.
I had the opportunity to assist my guy Seth Farmer in shooting Josh and Bisserat's wedding! They are such an awesome couple and I really enjoying photographing these beautiful moments. Congrats to them!